Due to the COVID pandemic, we know from our communications with schools, the majority of our community has resorted to BACS (bank transfers) as their main way of collecting payments from parents. While BACS payments are free, there are many reasons that this way of collecting payments is not sufficient. Let’s explore why moving to a payment provider has greater benefits to a school aside from simply collecting income.
One of the biggest things that a payments system can do is save you time, and automatic audit trails are a great way to do this. These audit trails can make reconciliation a quick and easy process – we know that bank transfers can consist of a lot of ‘wasted time’ trying to work out why a parent or guardian has transferred £20 with no reference information, making it difficult to know where money has come from and where to allocate the payment.
A lot of schools worry that moving to a payment system will prevent parents from paying online but in fact, we often find it has the opposite effect. Parents love that they can access an app, quickly pay for items, and know exactly what they are paying for and when. They can stay on top of their credits and debts which in turn helps prevent the build-up of overdue payments, also reducing admin time chasing for overdue money.
A payments system also gives parents greater confidence as payments via a provider are secured whereas, one wrong digit and a BACs payment could go elsewhere.
With our system SchoolMoney, you can send automated, intelligent messages at the click of a button! Messages can be sent to parents to let them know of new trip payments, tell them that they have overdue or outstanding balances and make parents aware of new items for sale at the school shop. For a lot of schools, writing and posting individual letters or emails is still a daily practice and this time could be spent elsewhere.
Another great thing about using a cashless payments system in school is the automatic reporting that comes alongside a payments system. There’s no need to waste any more time building spreadsheets and printing dinner registers – school staff can easily see who has overdue payments, how many dinners to cook each day, what members of staff will need to attend breakfast club and reconciling bank statements at the click of a button.
Not only does a school payment system save parents’ time, best of all it saves schools’ time! Your time is invaluable, especially with the added responsibilities of COVID jobs which have pushed school time to its limits. On average we give schools back 15 hours per week, by reducing the need to take trips to the bank, removing hours spent counting cash or adding up payments on bank statements, and preventing the need for paper registers and spreadsheets.
If you’re deciding to make the change from BACS payments to a cashless payments system in your school, take a look at SchoolMoney.